Eric Warner Staff Writer
In this day and age, superheroes are perhaps more popular than ever before thanks to numerous films, television shows, and video games based on various comic books. Many interpretations of what it means to be a superhero have been depicted through classic characters such as Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, and many more. However, authors often lack the ability to depict what it means to be a human being. Of course, this may be due to the initial concept of comics, to be an escape from the annoyances and detriments of real life. However, every now and then a group of creators will make characters to show the beauty of what it means to be an average person and explain why that’s a person’s true superpower. Arguably, this is no better seen within DC Comics’ mythology of the “Green Lantern Corps.”
The Green Lanterns are not just a singular person, unless you’re referring to the 1940’s iteration of the title. Rather, Green Lanterns are basically a fictional galactic police force; the Lanterns are recruited by these powerful rings that seek out beings from every solar system in the galaxy who wield great willpower and can overcome great fear. These rings allow these beings to create hard-light constructs from their willpower, but also from the energy of power batteries. These batteries are all linked to a singular gigantic battery on their headquarter planet Oa, home world to the ring’s creator’s, the Guardians. A Green Lantern’s duty is to protect their system from any and all threats as well as to aid their fellow Lanterns if the need arises. What makes the Green Lanterns unique compared to most superheroes is their focus on diversity, acceptance, willpower, and embracing one’s emotions.
What is wonderful about these heroes is that any living entity in the galaxy can become one. It doesn’t matter how big or small you are or even if you possess physical strength. As long as you have the will and courage to overcome fear, you can be a hero. A fly, human, sentient planet and even a living mathematical equation can be a hero as long as they have the desire to do good in the galaxy. Like any sentient creature, however, the Green Lanterns must concede with their emotions before they can truly become a great hero. These tests come in the form of the other Lantern Corps based on the emotions of rage, avarice, fear, hope, compassion, and love. If a Green Lantern can balance all of their emotions, they can become the most powerful Lantern in the universe, called the White Lantern, which has the ability to manipulate life itself. It doesn’t matter if you’re big or small, black, white or even Christian or Muslim.
All that matters is that you have the will to make the universe a better place, a trait that, ultimately, I believe everybody has. In the brightest of days or in the darkest of nights, the Lanterns, the beings of the galaxy, will be there to quell the destruction of rage, to lessen the reach of avarice, to stop the spread of fear, to ensure that hope will continue to live on, to allow compassion to reside in one’s heart, and to make sure that love prevails. If anybody can be a Lantern, anybody can become a hero, and that’s why the Green Lanterns are the greatest superheroes.